Gotta Love A Garmin

My trusty Garmin (this was taken last year at a 5k I ran on my birthday)

This post is really an ode to my watch. I’m in injured mode now (possibly a cervical herniated disc), so I can’t really run. This is my second injury in the past few years (I had a hamstring injury in 2009 that put me out for 3 months). This injury is pretty serious and yes, I am freaking out – wondering if I will even be able to run again and panicking at the thought of surgery on my neck. However, in an attempt to distract myself from my fear, I can still talk about running. So, that being said, what better time than now to talk about my watch?

This was my longest race before I ran my first half - the Phelps Sauerkraut 20k - 12.4 miles. A half is 13.1, so I knew that once I could run this far, I could run a half. This race had 2 very big hills in it. These reports are what you get when you plug in the watch and download the info. I think you can click to enlarge this and see the details. Very cool!

When I first started running, I used a website that listed distances on the canal path near my home. However, this really limited me, as that was the only mileage locally I could find online.  Plus, I knew it was not accurate, since a lot of construction/detours were going on. Nevertheless, that was all I had.

This is the same race with more details - pace by mile, calories burned, elevation, etc. You can see by looking at the map and then the pace by mile when I slowed down (hills) and when I sped up (near the finish). I think you can click on this to make it bigger.

Flash forward a year and in 2010, I decided to get a GPS watch when I made the decision to train for my first half marathon. I wanted something easy to use (since I’m electronically challenged) and something that was not clunky or looked like a tiny computer on my wrist (which some watches do). When I saw that Garmin came out with a more feminine watch (with pink on the band besides!), I decided to get one. It was expensive (over $200), but I use it all the time. This watch does not have all the bells and whistles of some of the fancier watches, but for me it’s perfect. The only drawback is that when you’re running, it shows your average pace, not your actual.

This was my first half marathon- the Rochester half - one of the proudest days of my life! I forgot to stop the watch at the end and I also had trouble getting a signal when the race started. My official time was 2:09 ( a little less than a 10 minute pace).

Besides tracking  distance and average pace, you can download and analyze your runs! I never used the feature until my watch was full (180 runs later). It’s very interesting to see your pace. Sometimes I forget to stop the watch and it records me walking (oops!). The watch also tends to have trouble locating the satellites in some areas. Other than that, it’s awesome. I highly recommend getting a GPS watch (not necessarily this one, but one that fits your needs) if you’re serious about improving your running or training for an event.

I’m not sure what my running future holds for me right now, as I have been sidelined by excruciating neck and shoulder pain that has also caused weakness and loss of functioning in my right arm. I’m hoping for the best (no surgery , no chronic pain and being able to fully use my right arm again), but am just taking it day by day for now. I’m grateful for all the runs I could do and grateful I can even type this.

Last but not least, I just wanted to mention that I have started contributing to a blog called Ugly Finish. I wrote a short piece about Pace Training. I have another piece coming out soon. I’m not an expert, but I do think I can offer some words of wisdom to the recreational runners out there.

Excuse this post being a bit all over the place. Pain makes my mind a bit frazzled. Keep your fingers crossed that I do not have to have an operation and can get this under control. I also need to recover so I can help with the Girls on the Run 5k, less than 2 months from now.

Thanks for reading and keep on running!

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3 Responses to Gotta Love A Garmin

  1. Jill says:

    I’m very sorry to hear of your injury. I hope that you are getting some medical opinions regarding the cause and possible treatments. Don’t give up hope yet. I’ve seen a few friends come back from disc herniations, and even one friend from a cervical neck fracture, to run well again. Usually physical therapy was prescribed and recovery took awhile. Hang in there and good luck!

  2. Hi Kyra, sorry to hear about your injury. I find that the average pace is more useful than the current pace. If I am trying to hit a certain time, I am looking for the average pace anyway. At least for the mile splits. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. powellamym says:

    Hi Kyra,
    I’m glad to have you as a guest blogger on UglyFinish any time! Thank you for adding your insight. I hope your recovery is quick and I will keep you in my prayers.

    ~Amy
    P.S. I love my garmin too!

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